Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
My career has been as diverse as it has been rewarding. Throughout my career, I have worked at every level of local law enforcement: state, county and municipality.
I am a certified instructor in a variety of disciplines, including investigative interviewing, suspect interrogation, chemical agent deployment and civil disobedience.
I helped plan the 2002 Olympic Winter Games as a Park City police officer. During the Olympics, I served as the Park City Mountain Resort law enforcement venue commander.
I graduated from Weber State University cum laude with a bachelor s degree in criminal justice. I am also a graduate of the FBI National Academy — a requirement for chief executives at many large law enforcement agencies. Since being elected, I was appointed to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council by Governor Huntsman.
Perhaps more importantly, I have been your sheriff for the past four years; I have done the job. Under my administration s leadership, the Summit County Sheriff s Office has developed into one of the premier law enforcement agencies in Utah.
1. Does the Sheriff’s Office currently offer balanced coverage across the county?
Balanced coverage throughout Summit County was a significant issue last election — one my administration remedied immediately upon taking office. We divided Summit County into patrol zones; these zones are staffed according to population. Consistent supervision allows the on-duty supervisor to deploy personnel to hot spots as needed. However, there is typically at least one deputy in every geographic region of the county. All areas of Summit County are provided balanced coverage.
2. The Sheriff’s Office recently switched to zoned coverage, is that working? How has it affected response times?
During the last election, I told Summit County voters that zone coverage (which was not being conducted at the time) would drastically reduce response times to emergency calls for service. Frankly, the concept is working better than I could have imagined. Generally speaking, zone coverage has reduced response times by approximately two-thirds. Due to a smaller area, some zones have seen a greater reduction in response times. What does this mean to citizens? It means deputies are resolving in-progress emergencies faster than ever before. Yes, zone coverage is working exceedingly well.
3. Is the Sheriff’s Office prepared to handle a major public safety emergency like a school shooting?
Over the past four years, few public safety agencies of comparable size have been burdened with more critical incidents. Four nationally televised searches, several homicide investigations, an officer-involved shooting, and a myriad of other incidents have made the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, and its administration, one of the most experienced law enforcement agencies of its size. In addition to the aforementioned, we conduct routine field-training exercises to increase our capabilities. Although we could always improve, I believe there are few local law enforcement agencies, or administrations, more prepared for a critical incident.
4. What should the sheriff’s role be in handling immigration issues?
Immigration is a federal issue. Local law enforcement has neither the funding nor the authority to enforce immigration laws. We house immigration violators for the federal government in our jail — nothing more.
5. Is the Sheriff s Office doing enough to protect victims of domestic violence in Summit County?
There are few crimes as insidious as domestic violence. Consequently, we have taken a zero-tolerance stance on the issue. We work closely with the Summit County Peace House and the Summit County Victim Advocate s Office. Utah law is clear — if a peace officer develops sufficient probable cause, an arrest shall be made in all domestic-violence cases. My deputies follow this law explicitly. No one should be subjected to violence by his or her intimate partner or family members. All residents of Summit County should know there are programs in place to assist those who have been subjected to violence. If you, or anyone you know, have been the victim of domestic violence please contact the Summit County Sheriff s Office.
6. The Sheriff s Office has an $8 million budget. Is it enough and is it being spent wisely?
Summit County is growing at a staggering rate. It is my responsibility to seek adequate funding from the County Commission. With the help of the commission, the Sheriff s Office has been provided adequate funding. While we certainly do not get everything we want, the commission has been more than fair. We understand the sacred nature of the tax dollar; therefore, we endeavor to provide a superior service at the lowest possible cost. Over the past four years, I have never asked for capital we did not need. Superior service is our foremost objective.
7. How would you characterize the relationship between the Sheriff s Office and the local police departments in Kamas and Park City?
According to both Chief Lloyd Evans and Chief Adam Jones, relations have never been better. I see the Sheriff s Office as a resource to our local police chiefs. If a critical incident occurs in Park City or Kamas, the chief is the incident commander. Every resource the Sheriff s Office has is available to our local police departments. Park City and Kamas police have utilized the Sheriff s Office command post, search and rescue, specialized emergency response team, dispatch center, medical examiner and much, much more. Building relationships of trust with our neighboring public safety agencies has been a top priority for my administration. The Sheriff s Office has also been an invaluable resource to our county mayors as they conduct special-event planning. Coalville, Kamas, Oakley, Francis, Henefer and Park City have all had their special events augmented by Sheriff s Office personnel. These events make Summit County great.
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